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AB-312 School finance: special education funding.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/28/2017 09:00 PM
AB312:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  February 28, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 312


Introduced by Assembly Member O'Donnell

February 06, 2017


An act to amend Sections 56836.11 and 56836.145 of, and to add Section 56836.146 to, the Education Code, relating to school finance.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 312, as amended, O'Donnell. School finance: special education funding.
Existing law establishes a public school financing system that requires state funding for county superintendents of schools, school districts, and charter schools to be calculated pursuant to a local control funding formula. Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to determine the amount of funding to be provided for each special education local plan area (SELPA) in accordance with specified calculations. Existing law requires the Superintendent, for the 2013–14 fiscal year, to compute an equalization adjustment for each special education local plan area, as specified.

This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to phase-in equalization of SELPA funding rates to an unspecified percentile, commencing with the full implementation of the local control funding formula. The bill would also express the intent of the Legislature to establish a state funding mechanism to provide all local educational agencies with the funding necessary to establish high-quality preschool programs for California’s preschool-age children with disabilities in order to give those children the best chance for educational success in the most cost-efficient manner.

This bill would require the Superintendent to compute that equalization adjustment commencing with the first fiscal year after funds are apportioned pursuant to a specified formula and for each fiscal year thereafter in which an equalization appropriation is made, as specified. The bill would require the Superintendent to make certain computations following each year in which an equalization appropriation is made.
The bill would require, commencing with the first fiscal year after funds are apportioned pursuant to a specified formula, a special education local plan area that reports serving children 3 or 4 years of age who meet the definition of an “individual with exceptional needs” to count twice all units of average daily attendance generated by children enrolled in kindergarten less those children eligible for transitional kindergarten, for purposes of calculating units of average daily attendance. By adding to the duties of special education local plan areas, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Special education is a federal- and state-mandated educational program that entitles children with disabilities to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
(b) California’s special education funding formula established by Assembly Bill 602 of the 1997–98 Regular Session (Chapter 854 of the Statutes of 1997) (AB 602) does not adequately or equitably provide the necessary funding to pay for the true and increasing costs of providing educational services to pupils with disabilities.
(c) State special education funding rates among special education local plan areas vary considerably and have not kept pace with rising special education pupil enrollment.
(d) The Legislative Analyst’s Office has consistently recommended that the Legislature adopt legislation to equalize special education AB 602 funding rates.
(e) The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and the Statewide Special Education Task Force both recommend that the state provide funding for special education equalization.
(f) Children who receive high-quality care and education before kindergarten are 40 to 60 percent less likely to require special education interventions when they reach school age.
(g) Funding early intervention programs, such as preschool for children with disabilities, provides educational and social benefits to children and results in significant future cost savings to state and local educational agencies.
(h) Under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.) and California’s special education laws, local educational agencies are required to provide services to children with disabilities beginning at birth to age 22. In California, the only funding designated specifically for preschool-age children with disabilities comes from the federal government.
(i) In the 2014–15 fiscal year, local educational agencies reported $490 million in expenditures for preschool-age children with disabilities to the State Department of Education through the Standardized Account Code Structure, while in the 2014–15 fiscal year, the federal preschool grants appropriated to California only amounted to $97 million.
(j) High-quality public preschool programs for children with significant disabilities are limited or nearly nonexistent in some areas of the state.
(k) There has been a significant increase in the population of preschool-age children with autism spectrum disorder, many of whom require intensive services.
(l) In March 2015, the Statewide Special Education Task Force recommended that the state establish a new state preschool funding model that is calculated on a per-pupil rate that is based on a set amount of state funding.
SEC. 2.

(a)It is the intent of the Legislature to phase-in equalization of special education local plan area funding rates established by Assembly Bill 602 of the 1997–98 Regular Session (Chapter 854 of the Statutes of 1997) to the ____ percentile, commencing with the full implementation of the local control funding formula.

(b)It is further the intent of the Legislature to establish a state funding mechanism to provide all local educational agencies with the funding necessary to establish new or expanded high-quality preschool programs for California’s preschool-age children with disabilities in order to give those children the best chance for educational success in the most cost-efficient manner.

SEC. 2.

 Section 56836.11 of the Education Code is amended to read:

56836.11.
 (a) For the purpose of computing the equalization adjustment for special education local plan areas for the 1998–99 fiscal year, the Superintendent shall make the following computations to determine the statewide target amount per unit of average daily attendance for special education local plan areas:
(1) Total the amount of funding computed for each special education local plan area exclusive of the amount of funding computed for the special education local plan area identified as the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court and Community School/Division of Alternative Education Special Education Local Plan Area, pursuant to Section 56836.09 for the 1997–98 fiscal year.
(2) Total the number of units of average daily attendance reported for each special education local plan area for the 1997–98 fiscal year, exclusive of average daily attendance for absences excused pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 46010 46010, as that section read on July 1, 1996, and exclusive of the units of average daily attendance computed for the special education local plan area identified as the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court and Community School/Division of Alternative Education Special Education Local Plan Area.
(3) Divide the sum computed in paragraph (1) by the sum computed in paragraph (2) to determine the statewide target amount for the 1997–98 fiscal year.
(4) Add the amount computed in paragraph (3) to the inflation adjustment computed pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 56836.08 for the 1998–99 fiscal year to determine the statewide target amount for the 1998–99 fiscal year.
(b) Commencing with the 1999–2000 fiscal year to the 2004–05 fiscal year, inclusive, to determine the statewide target amount per unit of average daily attendance for special education local plan areas, the Superintendent shall multiply the statewide target amount per unit of average daily attendance computed for the prior fiscal year pursuant to this section by one plus the inflation factor computed pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 42238.1 for the fiscal year in which the computation is made.
(c) For the 2005–06 fiscal year, the Superintendent shall make the following computation to determine the statewide target amount per unit of average daily attendance to determine the inflation adjustment pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 56836.08 and growth pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 56836.15, as follows:
(1) The 2004–05 fiscal year statewide target amount per unit of average daily attendance less the sum of the 2004–05 fiscal year total amount of federal funds apportioned pursuant to Schedule (1) in Item 6110-161-0890 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2004 for purposes of special education for individuals with exceptional needs enrolled in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, divided by the total average daily attendance computed for the 2004–05 fiscal year.
(2) Multiply the amount computed in paragraph (1) by the inflation factor computed pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 42238.1 for the fiscal year in which the computation is made.
(3) Add the amounts computed in paragraphs (1) and (2).
(d) Commencing with the 2006–07 fiscal year and continuing through the 2012–13 fiscal year, inclusive, the Superintendent shall make the following computation to determine the statewide target amount per unit of average daily attendance for special education local plan areas for the purpose of computing the inflation adjustment pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 56836.08 and growth pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 56836.15:
(1) The statewide target amount per unit of average daily attendance computed for the prior fiscal year pursuant to this section.
(2) Multiply the amount computed in paragraph (1) by the inflation factor computed pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 42238.1 for the fiscal year in which the computation is made.
(3) Add the amounts computed in paragraphs (1) and (2).
(e) For the 2013–14 fiscal year, the Superintendent shall make the following computations to determine the statewide target amount per unit of average daily attendance to determine the inflation adjustment pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 56836.08 and growth pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 56836.15, as follows:
(1) Total the amount of funding computed for each special education local plan area pursuant to the amount computed in subdivision (b) of Section 56836.08, including the amount of funds appropriated pursuant to Provision 22 of Item 6110-161-0001 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2013, and excluding the amount of funding computed for the special education local plan area identified as the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court and Community School/Division of Alternative Education Special Education Local Plan Area, for the 2013–14 fiscal year.
(2) Total the number of units of average daily attendance reported for each special education local plan area for the 2012–13 fiscal year, exclusive of the units of average daily attendance computed for the special education local plan area identified as the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court and Community School/Division of Alternative Education Special Education Local Plan Area.
(3) Divide the sum computed in paragraph (1) by the sum computed in paragraph (2).
(f) Commencing with the 2014–15 fiscal year and continuing each fiscal year thereafter, the Superintendent shall make the following computations to determine the statewide target amount per unit of average daily attendance for special education local plan areas for the purpose of computing the inflation adjustment pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 56836.08 and growth pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 56836.15:
(1) The statewide target amount per unit of average daily attendance computed for the prior fiscal year pursuant to this section.
(2) Multiply the amount computed in paragraph (1) by the inflation factor computed pursuant to Section 42238.1, as that section read on January 1, 2013, or any successor section of law enacted by the Legislature that specifies the inflation factor contained in Section 42238.1, as that section read on January 1, 2013, for application to the 2014–15 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter.
(3) Add the amounts computed in paragraphs (1) and (2).
(g) Following each year in which an equalization appropriation is made pursuant to Section 56836.145, the Superintendent shall make the following computations to determine the statewide target amount per unit of average daily attendance to determine the inflation adjustment pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 56836.08 and growth pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 56836.15, as follows:
(1) Total the amount of funding computed for each special education local plan area pursuant to the amount computed in subdivision (b) of Section 56836.08, including the amount of funds appropriated pursuant to Provision 22 of Item 6110-161-0001 of Section 2.00 of the most recent Budget Act, and excluding the amount of funding computed for the special education local plan area identified as the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court and Community School/Division of Alternative Education Special Education Local Plan Area, for the fiscal year in which the equalization appropriation has been made.
(2) Total the number of units of average daily attendance reported for each special education local plan area for the fiscal year preceding the equalization appropriation, exclusive of the units of average daily attendance computed for the special education local plan area identified as the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court and Community School/Division of Alternative Education Special Education Local Plan Area.
(3) Divide the sum computed in paragraph (1) by the sum computed in paragraph (2).

SEC. 3.

 Section 56836.145 of the Education Code is amended to read:

56836.145.
 (a) For the 2013–14 fiscal year, Commencing with the first fiscal year after funds are apportioned pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 42238.03, and for each fiscal year thereafter in which an appropriation is made for purposes of this section, the Superintendent shall compute an equalization adjustment for each special education local plan area, exclusive of the special education local plan area identified as the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court and Community School/Division of Alternative Education Special Education Local Plan Area, so that the special education funding rate per unit of average daily attendance calculated pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 56836.10 of a special education local plan area is not less than the special education funding rate per unit of average daily attendance calculated pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 56836.10 that does not fall below more than 10 percent of the total statewide units of average daily attendance for each special education local plan area.
(b) The Superintendent shall compute an equalization adjustment for each special education local plan area’s special education funding rate per unit of average daily attendance, exclusive of the special education local plan area identified as the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court and Community School/Division of Alternative Education Special Education Local Plan Area, as follows:
(1) Multiply the amount computed for each special education local plan area pursuant to subdivision (a) by the average daily attendance used to calculate the special education local plan area’s special education funding for the 2013–14 fiscal year. year in which an appropriation is made for purposes of this section.
(2) Divide the amount appropriated for purposes of this section for the 2013–14 fiscal year in which an appropriation is made by the statewide sum of the amount computed pursuant to paragraph (1).
(3) Multiply the amount computed for the special education local plan area pursuant to subdivision (a) by the amount computed pursuant to paragraph (2).
(c) For purposes of this section, the statewide 90th percentile special education funding rate determined pursuant to subdivision (a), and the fraction computed pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) for the 2012–13 second principal apportionment, apportionment of the fiscal year preceding any appropriation made for purposes of this section, shall be final, and shall not be recalculated at subsequent apportionments. The fraction computed pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) shall not exceed 1.00.

SEC. 4.

 Section 56836.146 is added to the Education Code, immediately following Section 56836.145, to read:

56836.146.
 (a) In order to provide funding for preschool-aged children with special needs, commencing with the first fiscal year after funds are apportioned pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 42238.03, a special education local plan area that reports serving children three or four years of age who meet the definition in Section 56026 shall, for purposes of calculating units of average daily attendance, count twice all units of average daily attendance generated by children enrolled in kindergarten less those children eligible for transitional kindergarten as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 48000.
(b) Any growth in average daily attendance generated by the adjustment described in subdivision (a) shall be funded at the prevailing statewide target rate, as calculated by subdivision (f) of Section 56836.11.

SEC. 5.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.